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Finances force Kenyans to skip Valentine’s gifts

A worker at Oserian Flower Farm packs a Bouquet of roses for export. Photo/FILE
A worker at Oserian Flower Farm packs a Bouquet of roses for export. Ipsos Synovate says that the poll it conducted between last week between Monday and Thursday on 1,011 individuals in urban areas found that only 49 per cent of Kenyans planned to mark Valentine day with gifts or outings compared to 65 per cent of Ugandans. Photo/FILE 

Limited finances are expected to stop more than half of Kenyans from extending a Valentine’s Day gesture to their loved ones today, according to a poll whose results were released on Monday.

Ipsos Synovate says that the poll it conducted between last week between Monday and Thursday on 1,011 individuals in urban areas found that only 49 per cent of Kenyans planned to mark the day with gifts or outings compared to 65 per cent of Ugandans.

“Despite the higher rate of inflation in Uganda, more Kenyans cite limited finances as a key a barrier to celebrating Valentine’s date,” said Maggie Ireri, managing director, Ipsos Synovate Kenya.

Of the Kenyans who will not celebrate the day, 62 per cent blamed financial hurdles, 25 per cent said that they were not in a relationship while 12 per cent said the gestures could be extended on any other day.

In Uganda, 44, 11 and 33 per cent of those who will not celebrate the day cited limited finances, not being in a relationship and preferring to celebrate it another day respectively.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya’s cost of living dropped for the second month in row to 18.31 per cent last month compared to 18.93 and 19.72 per cent in December and November last year respectively.

The cost of living is, however, higher in Uganda where it had dropped to 25.7 per cent last month from 27 per cent in December and 29 per cent in November.

“The issue of finances as a barrier points to the need to educate Kenyans on creative ideas on how to be romantic this Valentine’s Day without spending too much,” said Ms Ireri who added that 30 per cent of Kenyans and 22 per cent of Ugandans said they did not believe in the day.

Of those who will celebrate the day, 82 per cent of Kenyan’s said that they will spend it with their romantic partners, 13 per cent with friends and 10 per cent with other family members. Seven of 10 Ugandans sampled said that they would have some special time with their romantic partner compared to 25 and 5 per cent who will spend the day with family members and friends respectively.

More Kenyan’s intend to buy flowers and clothes as gifts on Valentine Day while Ugandans plan to spend on special dinners, cards, shoes, special lunches and other gifts.

Over 30 per cent of the women in both countries said that they would want to receive red roses followed by 18 to 22 per cent who want clothes and nine to 10 per cent who are expecting romantic dinners.
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